How many running backs will go tonight?

A debate has been raging in the run up to the draft regarding whether running backs should be taken in round one, and particularly whether any running backs should go in the top 10.

Last year, there was no first-round running back. None have gone higher than No. 24 since 2018, when Saquon Barkley became the No. 2 overall pick, to the Giants.

This year, the over-under is 1.5, and the thinking is that both Texas running back Bijan Robinson and Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs will be selected.

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Robinson seems to be on track for the top 10, given that he’s regarded as one of the most talented players in the draft.

The question becomes two-fold. First, can other running backs be gotten in later rounds who are nearly as good? Second, and more importantly, is a team that takes a running back in round one — and particularly in the top 10 — comfortable with the injury risk inherent to the position.

For Robinson, who could see plenty of time in the slot, the risk could be a little lower. But the risk will still be there.

The risk became a reality for Barkley, making the player who was a boom as a rookie quickly go bust in Year Two. Again, it’s not the player’s fault. It’s the position.


But because of that reality of the position, it makes sense to carefully consider other options in round one, given that other running backs will be available in later rounds of the draft.

How many running backs will go tonight? originally appeared on Pro Football Talk